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‘Tale Alimi: Why Buy a Designer Bag When You Haven’t Designed a BHAG?



About a year ago, my sister gave me a beautiful black Michael Kors bag. I love the bag not only because it is a designer bag, but because it is durable and good quality. However, I noticed recently that I have really carried the bag a little too often and it was beginning to show signs of wear and tear. I decided that I was going to window shop and consider the possibility of buying a companion for this bag. As I browsed through various websites, I found my dream bag; it was a beige structured tote from Prada, however when I saw the price, I did a double take and decided to put my dream on hold for some time until I achieved my BHAG.

I went to a seminar some years ago, and the speaker told us a story about a man who had come to meet him for a loan to fund his business. He said as he listened to the man speak, he noticed the quality of his designer suit and wrist watch and wondered why the man was looking for such a small amount of capital, when he was actually wearing his capital!

A lot of us ladies have been guilty of crying that the reason why we can’t live our dreams is because we don’t have enough money or no one to give us the resources to fund our dreams. However we seem to be able to afford some items that could possibly contribute to fund dreams like; pay for a training program, buy a capital asset or even start a business. I am not advocating that you should not look good and take care of yourself; I am saying there is a time for everything, so you need to set a BHAG before you buy your next BAG.

So what is a BHAG? It is a Big, Hairy, Audacious, Goal.

It is a concept that was introduced by Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great.  This means that you acquire things that are ‘wants’ (not necessities) as a reward for achieving you BHAG. So how do you set a BHAG?

Decide What You Want to Achieve
This is your goal and it should be big enough to stretch you at the same time realistic enough so that you don’t get overwhelmed and give up. A good way to set a BHAG is to take an inventory of where you are now and decide where you would like to be. For example, do you weigh 100kg now and would like to weigh 80kg in the next 3 months? Or do you have hundred thousand in savings now and would like to have one million in savings at the end of the year?

Determine Your ‘WHY’
This is examining your motive and deciding why you want to achieve what you want. It is very important, because if your ‘why’ is not deep enough, you would not be motivated enough to keep at it. So a good ‘why’ is; I want to do that training program so I can become more competent at my job and get a promotion. A bad ‘why’ is; I want to do the training program so that I can show my colleagues that I am also certified or I have also done a training abroad.

Set a Time Frame
How long would it take you to achieve your goal? Most BHAGs have a long time frame, but you can set milestones along the way. For example if you want to save 5 million for a down payment for a house or to buy land, you can set a milestone of 1 million Naira a year and in 5 years, you should achieve your goal.

Decide Your Reward
Now this is the fun part. What would your reward be for achieving every milestone or achieving your BHAG? A reward is a good motivator because when you think about it, it keeps you driven to achieve your goal. For example my reward is the beautiful tote I spoke about earlier and my BHAG is to achieve a certain financial goal that would enable me use my profits to buy my BAG.

So before you buy your next bag or whatever your desire to acquire, set a BHAG and you can share with us, so we can cheer you and keep you accountable.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Sdeva

'Tale Alimi is the Co-founder and current CEO of Owoafara, a fund matching and business support platform for African MSME's. She is also the Lead strategist of Tale Alimi Global; a strategy consulting boutique focused on working with visionary and forward thinking SME's to take their business from small to scale. She is the author of Uplevel and her latest book Small to Scale. She has a Masters in Business Administration from Lagos business school, a certificate in personal coaching from the coaching academy UK. She is a social innovation fellow with the startingbloc institute in the United States. When she is not thinking about innovative business models, she is an avid fitness enthusiast. Learn more about her new startup Owoafara:( Get daily business inspiration when you follow her on twitter ( and get an insight into her life on Instagram (


  1. Gentle Pace

    July 7, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Smart chic you are.

    Many of them will carry $2000 LV Alma bag and meanwhile they don’t have $200.00 in their account.

    I once hung out years back with this girl who carried Lv ebene bags. I had to go pick her up because she did not own a car. After picking her up on more than 4 times, I noticed she carried a different LV bag each time. My reasoning was “if you have money to splurge on designer bags, WTF havn’t you bought yourself a Dawgone car!?!”
    I mean the bags in total were around $5000 give a couple hundred dollars more! She could have saved up that cash and bought a small car.

    This chic had never even owned a vehicle. And we lived in a southern state where you definitely need a ride to get around. As she wan turn me to chaffeur driving 45 mins to & from her place , i had to give myself brain so I made like a banana and split!
    Get your priorities right boo boo.

    Which woman no like better thing? But use wisdom in dealings Abeg. If you can clearly afford it fine, but if not control yourselves. Most of these bags be out of season/style in a couple of months/ years anyway.

    • Omofola

      July 7, 2015 at 3:33 pm


    • natty

      July 7, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      Smart decision, truth be told so many people live above their means, all in a bid to become the latest IT girl.
      If there is one thing I learnt from my economics class in high school, it’s how to distinguish between a need and a want. Very important.
      I can be an impulsive shopper at times, so what I do is throw it all in the cart and short before checkout I pick up each item and askk myself if it’s a need or a want

    • Bella

      July 8, 2015 at 10:58 am

      I absolutely love your comment and I have taken a mental note. Save for that BHAG.

  2. oyko

    July 7, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    wearing your capital

  3. seun

    July 7, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Loved this.

    Tale, I cant stand Michael kors bags. Every tom dick and harry has one, just like the LV bags.I actually prefer well made leather bags by Italian artisans. You get to pay for the craftmanship without breaking the bank.

    Oya, let me introduce you to some of them if you are a bag whore like me, lol

    Piero tucci
    Madewell(can be found on the nordstrom website)
    Auxillary(can be found on the Aritzia website)
    mansur gavriel
    Carla ferreri

    When you’ve achieved your BHAG :), you can then check out:


    Thanks for the article.

    • @tolu_lope_

      July 7, 2015 at 9:21 pm

      Just checked out a couple of these sites and mehn! I am sold…my eye has shifted from all them Prada and ko for now…hehe…think it’s time for a new BAG…

    • seun

      July 8, 2015 at 12:37 am

      lol. They are beautiful well made bags. You will also keep people wondering what brand your bag is.:). I hope you know some Prada bags are made in China and they will make it seem like you are paying for Italian and French craftmanship. Mcheew!

      Enjoy perusing the sites. 🙂

    • The real D

      July 8, 2015 at 11:43 am

      Since i am known to be a huge purse individual…you just gave away some of my secret… o well… I hate the coaches, the MK’s and co but…there are some LVs , I refuse to bring myself to buy…ahh no way mon ami, they are of course not the $2000 ones they go for about $4000k upwards but they are the only ones i can buy, when God makes me a billionaire

  4. chee

    July 7, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Thanks for this article,i decided to stretch myself lately by signing up for the mansard education plan for my kids,i’ll be contributing 80k per month for 5 yrs and i’ll be collecting 6M @ d end of it all,u all @ BN inspired d saving attitude,all I do is keep 8k of my daily sales aside for 10 days and dats it! I’ll come back in 5 yrs to testify kk.

  5. Ocean Beauty

    July 7, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Wetin concern agbero with overload? When it is time to pay the bills, na the same money we go spend whether the money comes out of your Hermes wallet or from Balogun bought wallet. I do not understand how someone will carry a very expensive bag without cash in the bag/bank.
    Well, you can never be my friend if there is nothing like serious investment in your head. If you like adorn yourself with designers, you are on your own.
    If you can afford it, by all means help yourself but dont borrow to keep cash in the bag afterwards.
    After gathering up to 5 pairs of loubs, an acquintance was asking me if I know anywhere I can borrow about 2m Naira from. I laughed to my bones. You didnt think of roof over your head abi, you and your red soles will sleep on the streets of Lagos

    • adaeze

      July 7, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      gbam, gbammer, gbammest!

  6. Adeola

    July 7, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Way to go ‘Tale!!! I am impressed and proud of you. Hope to see more of this on BN.

  7. Seun

    July 7, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Please dont kee me.?

    “you and your red soles will sleep on the streets of lagos.”

  8. Madame Solange

    July 8, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Oversabi is mainly our problem in Lagos. Plenty copy cats and label whores. Trust me I love labels however it has to be that I earned it before I buy one. I like the idea of getting a BHAG before a Designer Bag. When you go broke and no one remembers if you even existed then you will realize no one cares wether you ever wore designers sef.

  9. Lady Sharon

    January 15, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    I love this, ‘Tale!!! BHAG all the way!

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